Spanish and Portuguese | Spanish Literature of the 20th- & 21st-Centuries
S548 | 24026 | M. Dinverno

Professor Melissa Dinverno

S548	Spanish Literature of the 20th- & 21st-Centuries
	Topic:  “Contesting Repression:  XXth Century Spanish
Cultural Production”

MW 1:00pm – 2:15pm/class# 24026/3cr./Location TBA

During the turbulent years prior to the Civil War, Spain began one
of the most complex periods of its history.  The pre-war years, the
experience of the war itself, and Franco’s repressive dictatorship
have been determining factors in Spain’s cultural production in the
twentieth century.  Ultimately permeating society, their effects
have lingered on well past even the country’s recent transition to
democracy.  This course will analyze contemporary Spanish cultural
production within the frame of repression and resistance.  Departing
from various formulations of repression (gendered, sexual, class,
racial/ethnic, political, etc.), we will look at ways intellectuals
have configured and contested forces of constraint.

In the first section we will look at different artistic projects
that react to repressive political, social and economic conditions
in pre-war Spain.  What central issues in the Spanish cultural
landscape are embodied in the creative projects of the late 20s and
early 30s?  In what ways do intellectuals engage in contestatory
practices and to what degree do their projects give in to the forces
they are resisting?  The second section aims to explore how artists
both represent and contest repression and the totalitarian state
from within the system itself.  How can those within position
themselves in order to contemplate and resist a system that labels
and combats both of these very acts as subversive?  We will explore
the kinds of spaces writers create that allow them room for maneuver
and within which they can both struggle with authority and speak of
the experience as a subject of totalitarianism.  The third and final
section examines the idea of contesting in terms of “response” as
the country undergoes a transition and moves beyond the Franco
regime.  Here, we will look at the way these texts respond to the
Franco era as a past event, as they not only reexamine the Civil War
and life under Franco, but also voice a preoccupation with self-
construction and defining the emergent nation.

Some of the issues we will discuss in our readings are (self)
censorship, notions of gender and sexuality, cultural and personal
memories, the power of writing/storytelling, exile, and identity
construction.  Class discussion and writing assignments are in